Alberta cities, province fly the Rainbow Flag for Sochi Olympics

Pride Flag Edmonton Sochi Olympics
The rainbow Rainbow Pride Flag flies outside Edmonton City Hall.

Defying the stereotypes of Alberta as a conservative backwater,  Rainbow Pride Flag are flying outside of city halls in Edmonton, Calgary and St. Albert and the Alberta Legislature today in solidarity with the LGBTQ community in Russia. The a small but powerful gesture is a sign of support for a community that has become the target of persecution by harsh laws passed by Vladimir Putin‘s government.

The flags will fly for the duration of the Sochi Winter Olympic Games (and until the end of the Sochi Paralympic Winter Games at the Legislature).

A social media campaign to convince the City of Edmonton to raise the flag was started yesterday by Edmontonian Riyaz Sharan. Once Edmonton agreed to raise the flag, the other Alberta cities and the province followed their lead.

Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson‘s office released this statement today:

The City of Edmonton raised the rainbow flag today in support ofLGBTQ communities worldwide. The City of Edmonton took this action in solidarity with other Canadian cities such as Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa and St. John’s. The flag will fly on the community pole on the southwest side of the plaza in front of City Hall for the duration of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. 

Pride Flag Alberta Legislature Sochi Olympics
The rainbow Rainbow Flag flies outside of the Alberta Legislative Assembly building in Edmonton.

Pride Flag Calgary City Hall Sochi Olympics

Mayor Naheed Nenshi agreed to fly the Rainbow Flag outside of Calgary City Hall today (photo from @chimaincalgary on twitter).
Pride Flag St. Albert City Hall Sochi
The Rainbow Flag flies outside St. Albert City Hall (photo from @tim_osborne on Twitter) 

2 replies on “Alberta cities, province fly the Rainbow Flag for Sochi Olympics”

This thing is being blown way out of proportion and is being used for some good old fashioned “Russia bashing.” Russia’s “anti gay” laws are aimed the distribution of gaylit to minors and is punishable by minor fines.

There are states in the US who have similar laws. In fact, many of the ultra nationalistic opposition groups in Russia make Putin look like Richard Simmons.

Compared to the rest of the world Russia is quite liberal in its treatment of gays where gay bars are openly advertised in Moscow newspapers. Maybe we should be more concerned about this:

And Canada has been developing closer relations with the Saudis in recent years:

Take these flags down now! Politics has no place in the Olympics and the taxpayer have not been consulted on this matter. Where do we draw the line? Does every fringe cause get to fly their banners just because a few people demand action? I think not.

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